Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Universal Housing Guidelines - Liveability for All

Recently, the Government released a document called the 'Universal Housing Guidelines' which detail a set of (at present) voluntary guidelines that aim to have all new homes in Australia designed to satisfactorily accommodate all residents irrespective of their specific requirements by 2020. In short, the aim is to make all homes liveable for all, specifically looking at things like access for disabled and elderly people. The Federal Government states that a liveable home is designed to:
* be easy to enter
* be easy to move around in
* be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation, and
* be designed to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of home occupants.

Whilst these guidelines are an important step in the right direction, the Australian housing and construction industries are in no way capable of absorbing the related additional costs in the current market. Basic economic law suggest that as price increases, supply should also increase as more participants enter the market attracted by increased profits. Currently, Australia is experiencing inadequate housing supply because the profits on offer are not sufficient to encourage activity in the market. The Government needs to acknowledge this and accept that for our communities to become more sustainable and liveable a balance between all elements of liveability must be achieved; not dissimilar to the triple–bottom-line of sustainability.

Check out the THG website for the full article.

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